stroller haters

Now that I'm a mum I've discovered that a lot of people out there hate us stroller pushers (humph). I remember reading a Toronto Life article about how people find yuppie parents and their giant strollers annoying (whatever!), but didn't think I would ever be a recipient of the scoffs and eye rolls. If I had the balls I would bite back but I'm too nice. So here it is. I want all you stroller haters to know that we're not trying to ruin your lives we're just looking for some socialization. It's  a long day in the house with a crying baby and going to a coffee shop once a day or just taking a walk is an escape from the four walls of our homes. Here is some stroller etiquette for all you haters (follow these and it will make her day):

  1. If you see a woman visibly struggling with her stroller and the door of a store/coffee shop give the girl a hand and hold the door open.
  2. When you're walking on the sidewalk and you see a stroller pusher approaching move over just a smidge (yes I've almost been pushed onto the street).
  3. Help a mom out when she's trying to get on the streetcar with her stroller in one arm and baby in the other.

Karma people!

March 24, 2011 — Alanna Banks

pain pack

Two weeks ago I had an emergency c section and ya the recovery has been painful (especially the first week) but I definitely did not need anything stronger than Advil or Tylenol to relieve the pain. So as you can imagine, I was floored when I was prescribed Oxycodone when I was discharged from the hospital. I hadn't even asked for it! First of all it's a narcotic and it's uncertain if the drug passes through breast milk (not what I want to expose to my brand new little babe). It just makes me so mad that the health care system would prescribe something so strong to c section patients (I could have been one step away from being on Intervention). It's totally ridiculous and obvi a prescription that I will not be filling.

No wonder we have a problem with addiction to painkillers in this country (gawd!).

February 21, 2011 — Alanna Banks

wow we really are canadian

Some of you may have heard that the Toronto area is expecting a severe winter storm (OMG brace yourself). It's been so hyped by the media you'd think the end of the world was coming, not just 20-30 cm of snow (I think we can handle it).   The fact that this storm is consuming the media drives me crazy, there are so many more important things that could be filling the headlines. We live in Canada and it IS February so isn't a snow storm inevitable?

Anyway, just in case you have to head out on the roads The Canadian Automobile Association is telling people to be prepared with the following:

  • A fully charged cellphone.
  • Winter survival kit.
  • Extra clothing, blankets.
  • Non-perishable food.
  • Candle, in case they become stranded.
Enjoy your snow day.

road rage

Dear @$$hole in the blue mini van,

Thanks for making it impossible to parallel park our car outside MEC on King Street West today. Had you just given us a little space to back into the spot both of our days would have run much smoother. Instead you kept inching your mini van towards us pretending you didn't know we were in the midst of parallel parking. As a result it took us another 20 minutes of circling in the driving rain to find a spot. Hope your passive aggressive move turned around and bit you today, or maybe it's yet to come (and it will!).

Just sayin'!



December 12, 2010 — Alanna Banks

dwelling on the negative only adds to its power

OK so I have a bone to pick !

Ever since I got pregnant I have been hyper sensitive to all you negative nellies. Most of the pregnancy books I read are negative and even the blogs on pregnancy are starting to grate on my nerves. This blog post (10 things they didn't tell you before getting pregnant) I read yesterday put me over the edge so I'm going to set it straight for all you future preggers out there.

This is the list (see below) from aforementioned blog. It has been modified for my own sanity and MY comments are in brackets.

  1. When you sneeze you will pee your pants – well… at least once a day. Get used to carrying around a second pair of pants, underwear, and buy stock in pantie liners. (Not true! I am 8 months pregnant and have yet to pee myself, maybe if you've had 3 or 4 kids but come on that's what kegel exercises are for!)
  2. Get used to carrying around a plastic bag of some type. For what you ask?  Barf. (I haven't even thought to pack a plastic bag, I've felt nauseous, like really nauseous, but the bag thing isn't necessary. Instead I suggest you carry a supply of ginger chews and water.)
  3. Invest in tissues – You will be doing a lot of crying. Even at simple things like car insurance commercials, and it sneaks up on you!  (I have yet to cry for a lame reason, I think I've cried a few times during this pregnancy but they were either due to an argument or because I was feeling unwell.)
  4. You won’t poop normally till you give birth – I am not kidding. I think the worst part of pregnancy altogether is the horrible constipation. (I've never been more regular (I know TMI) so eat your fibre future preggers and you'll be fine.)
  5. Prenatal vitamins are the devil – these giant size horse pills just may send you over the gagging edge. (Ya they're big but so what?! Crush them up or just deal with it, they're providing you with the vitamins and minerals that you're growing baby needs. I take PregVit and haven't had an issue with them at all.)
  6. You will feel like a pin cushion by the end – No joke!   I got my blood drawn no less than 10 times. I didn’t think I was going to actually have any blood left by the end of it. (Oh please! It's not that big of a deal.)
  7. The Heartburn will fry your esophagus. (I've had my share of heartburn, ya it sucks but just take a few Tums or Rolaids and go to bed if it's night time and if you're suffering during the day sip on some ginger ale.)
  8. Just when you think that baby is going to come… you wait some more!  Due dates are inaccurate. (Thanks captain obvious! So why dwell on it? The average woman delivers between 7 and 10 days after her due date.)
  9. Sleep issues galore!  – The only thing you are going to want to do in the first, and third trimesters is sleep. Unfortunately for you most of the time in the first trimester you won’t actually sleep like your body is telling you to, and in the third trimester you won’t be able to get comfortable enough to get a really good nights sleep. (My advice: sleep as much as possible in the first trimester, that's the only way you'll feel better and re: the third trimester I've been sleeping like a baby and I'm a stomach sleeper, you adapt.)
  10. The appointments – You will have so many, you will need a personal assistant to keep them all straight. (Oh boo hoo. I love going to the appointments! Hearing that heartbeat and having 5-10 minutes of attention is awesome!)

So there! I'm sorry this post was lengthy but honestly being pregnant is not that bad.  It's the most amazing time of your life and ya it comes with some unpleasantness but come on, you have a living person inside of you, that you created!

Amen sistah!

turn that frown upside down

I have a slew of whiners in my Facebook feed and it's driving me mad. What's wrong with you people? Stop complaining! Most of you are healthy, have jobs, have partners, great kids, money and a roof over your heads (we wouldn't be Facebook friends if you didn't have any of these things!)

I'm not going to single any of you people out but keep this in mind when you're filling in your status updates. If you've typed in something about feeling sick, getting sick, being stressed, hating your life etc. etc. please delete and wait to post something a little more productive. I don't care and I don't want to know!

Put on a happy face!


October 21, 2010 — Alanna Banks

ankle socks with heels

I'm sorry but I'm just not down with this trend. Sure it looks great on the stick thin models we see gracing the fashion mags and runways, but when us regular Betty's start sporting the look with our short legs, big calves, you name it, it's really a bad look!

All you fashionistas can scoff at me all you want, but trust (I'm just trying to help), this trend is going to come back to bite you in the ass. I say stick with ankle boots but if you must follow suit here are some tips to do it right (that's right, I'm giving fashion advice):

  • stick with sock colours that contrasts with your shoes
  • make sure the socks hit just above the ankle this gives the illusion of long, lean legs (but really only if you have the gangly legs)
  • tone it down with straight forward pieces (crazy feet means simple/clean look on top)

Good luck!

August 19, 2010 — Alanna Banks

that's hot

Is this what your office and house turns into during the hot summer months? (I know you're all nodding yes!) We bellyache all winter about how cold it is and then once the heat arrives we crank the AC so that we're freezing our backsides off.

When we bought our house a few years ago the AC was a "nice to have" but I can count on one hand the number of times we've used it in three years (maybe 5?). I didn't have AC growing up and we just coped with the hot summer nights so as a result I've never been a huge advocate of flash freezing my home (don't get me started about the workplace).  So as you can imagine I was pleasantly surprised today when I read Dave McGinn's interview with Stan Cox, author of Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World (And Finding New Ways to Get Through the Summer) in the Globe and Mail. He discusses why we're so used to AC and how it's effecting the environment and our health.

Here are some of my own personal stay cool tips:

  • Install a ceiling fan in your bedroom (amazing!)
  • Keep your blinds closed in the rooms that get the most sunlight (this keeps those rooms cool during the day)
  • Open all your windows  (it creates a cross breeze)
  • Have a cool shower before tucking into bed
  • Take the duvet and heavy blankets off your bed (just sleep with a sheet)

I hope this has inspired you to try to quit your AC addiction. Your bank account will thank me.

June 04, 2010 — Alanna Banks